Wolverine hoops looks ahead with hope | SierraSun.com

Wolverine hoops looks ahead with hope

Matt Riddle

Photo by Colin Fisher.Scenes from the shootaround practice this week.

Steady improvement could be the theme of this year’s boy’s basketball squad. When they won only one game in 2001 and went 5-12 last year with a run in the post-season, state is in the crosshairs.

“We’re going to get there,” coach Mike Gray said. “We have a lot of talent on this basketball team.”

The squad is led by eight seniors, two juniors and three sophomores. One advantage this year’s lineup has is in height, something that has been missing the past couple of years.

“We’re good on height. Zach (Sharp), myself and Jamie (Maehler), we’re all 6’4″,” JR Murphy said. “Now that we have that, we can get down in the posts and get some higher percentage shots.”

The senior-heavy roster will be able to rely on that experience.

“We should be a lot better than the last two years, I think everybody played on this team last year,” Jason Ames said. “We’re looking a lot better than before.”

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Murphy agreed.

“For a lot of these people it’s their second or third year of varsity,” Murphy said. “We have a real good team.”

Over the past week, the Wolverines have struggled against non-NIAA competition, dropping three out of four games.

Dec. 3, they lost in Loyalton, 58-78. The past weekend, they headed north for the Quincy Tournament, losing to Orland (Calif.) on Thursday, 73-57, lost to Mt. Lassen on Friday, 73-53, and then beat Portola, 77-71, on Saturday.

This weekend, the team heads to Liberty for the Liberty Tournament with another slew of California teams. The first home game is Tuesday, when Quincy comes to town.

“We need to find out where we’re at as a basketball team,” Gray said. “We state and say how good we want to be, but they need to show it out here on the floor. I think we’re going to have a really good basketball team.

“I told these guys, I’m going to expect a lot out of them. I’m going to push them to the limits.”